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England’s Stuart Williams wins qualifying at 13th Storm San Marino Open


Stuart Williams of England remained unchallenged on the final day of qualifying at the 13th Storm San Marino Open to lead a field of 48 players into Sunday’s finals at Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino.

The six-time European Bowling Tour titlist (right), who also owns one Professional Bowlers Association title, had games of 265, 280, 278, 279, 254 and 236 in the 17th of 20 squads to win the qualifying and a 1.000 Euro bonus with 1592 pinfall total and an average of averaged 265.33 for six games.

Five-time PBA champion Osku Palermaa (left) of Finland, who is tied for second place on the all-time EBT title list with 13 wins, was second with 1491, including one of eleven 300 games in the tournament so far.

Lucas Legnani (right) of Argentina remained in third place with 1484 and was followed by Jenny Wegner and Mattias Wetterberg in fourth and fifth place with 1476 and 1472, respectively.

Wegner (left) was the best of 25 women in the 204-player field from 29 countries and one of just four women (all from Sweden), who survived the qualifying cut.

Markus Jansson of Sweden and Canada’s Francois Lavoie (above, from right to left) tied at 1470 in the penultimate squad to crack the top eight, who received a first and second round bye for the finals. Jansson (right) rolled his second perfecto in this tournament and the 10th overall in game two and added 236, 243, 248, 226 and 238 to finish qualifying in sixth place.

Fresh off his victory in the V Brunswick Madrid Challenge, Lavoie posted 232, 245, 225, 279, 279 and 210. The 2016 PBA Rookie of the Year and the 2016 U.S. Open champion was seeded seventh due to the lower game.

Rounding out the top 8 was Francois Louw (right) of South Africa with 1464 and an average of 242.17.

The next eight players will bypass the first round round of the finals. Ildemaro Ruiz (left) of Venezuela had four games in the 250s to finish seven pins behind Jansson and Lavoie with 1463, good for 10th place in the standings.

Andrea Moro (right) of Italy achieved perfection in the last game of squad 19 to bring the number of 300 games to 11, but finished 113 pins below the cut line in 90th place with his high series of 1280.

Anton Persson of Sweden took the 16th and last place to earn a bye with 1441 (240.17). Three-time defending champion Dominic Barrett of England missed the top 16 by three pins finishing in 18th place with 1438.

James Gruffman (left) of Sweden was the lone player of squad 20 who surpassed the 1400-mark to make the cut in 30th place with 1411. Tommaso Radi of Italy took the 35th and last place to advance from the overall leaderboard with 1393 or an average of 232.17.

Those 35 will be joined in the finals by 10 players from squads 1-4, 5-8 and 9-14 and the top 3 of the one-game Desperado Squad. Ramon Hilferink of The Netherlands started the Desperado Squad with eight consecutive strikes to earn his berth in the fianls with 267. Marco Boccato of Italy was second with 251 and his compatriot Andrea Spadavecchia closed his game with a five-bagger to help grab the last place with 247.

The Storm San Marino Open is the 6th stop of the 2017 European Bowling Tour and the first out of two EBT “Gold” tournaments this season.

The 13th edition will be held July 8-16 at 18-lane Rose’n Bowl in Serravalle, San Marino and offers total prize fund of 62.100 Euro with 8.000 Euro going to the winner, 5.000 to the runner-up, 3.300 to the third and 2.400 to the fourth place finisher.

Qualifying of the San Marino Open ran from Saturday, July 8, through Saturday, July 15, and concluded with the one-game Desperado Squad. The qualifying winner (Stuart Williams) received a 1.000 Euro bonus. The top three women based on the final standings will receive 500, 350 and 200 Euro bonuses, respectively.

Total 48 players advanced to the finals on Sunday, July 16, including the top 35 qualifiers plus the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 8-9, the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 10-11, the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 12-13, plus the top 3 from the Desperado Squad.

The top 8 qualifiers received two byes and qualifiers 9-16 got a first-round bye. The other 32 players will bowl four games from scratch to cut to the top 16, who will meet qualifiers 9-16 in the second round. Those 24 bowl another four games from scratch to cut to the top 10, who will join the top eight in a six-game round before the cut to the top 4.

The four finalists will determine the winner in an eliminator-format finals which will feature three one-game rounds. All four players bowl the opening game, with the lowest-scoring player being eliminated. In the two rounds to follow, the same “low man out” format applies, with pinfall carrying over. The last man standing will be declared the champion.

The 2017 European Bowling Tour features 11 tournaments in 9 countries including two “Platinum”, two “Gold”, one “Silver”, three “Bronze” and three “Satellite” events, which offer total prize fund of roughly 560.000 Euro.

The top 50 men and the top 50 women in each event receive ranking points. Those points will be tabulated throughout the season to determine the top 8 men and top 8 women, who will be eligible to compete in the 11th EBT Masters February 12, 2018 in Tilburg, Netherlands.

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13th Storm San Marino Open – Standings after Qualifying and Desperado Squad

Top 35 qualifiers plus the top 4 from the squads conducted on July 12-13 (places 36-39), the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 10-11 (places 40-42), the top 3 from the squads conducted on July 8-9 (places 43-45) and the top 3 from the Desperado Squad (places 46-48) advance to the finals. Top 8 receive two byes, qualifiers 9-16 get one bye.

300 games (12) – Markus Jansson (2), Anton Ahlgren, Martin Paulsson, Robin Persson, Osku Palermaa, Daniel Fransson, Rodolfo Madriz, Georgios Stefanidis, Ray Teece, Salvatore Polizzotto and Andrea Moro.

Herbert Bickel

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